Coyotes on the prowl in southern Arizona, tips for protecting your pets

Southern Arizona dog owners share a common fear -- coyotes.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Southern Arizona dog owners share a common fear -- coyotes.

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, there are around 200,000 coyotes in the state.

They have always been part of our community and we have to learn to protect our precious pets.

“If you are aware of coyotes present in your community, do not leave a small pet unattended in the backyard and do not leave food out,” said Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Hart said whether you live in a neighborhood or in a rural area, make sure you keep a close eye on your pup because someone already does too.

“We know cases where two coyotes have come over a wall and snatched a little dog away,” Hart said. “They are that brazen.”

Unfortunately, Gina Hutchinson knows that story all too well.

“And there is this coyote in the yard, and he has her by the throat,” Hutchinson said.

After a trip to the vet, little Sandy was good to go. But two years later, they had another visit.

“There was this big male coyote and he has her in his throat,” Hutchinson said. “So, I come flying like superwoman down the steps and scared him. He drops her and she comes running.”

The outcome wasn’t so good this time.

“At first we thought she was going to make it, but then we learned it was a punctured lung and she only made it two more days,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson has since adopted other pups but wants other pet owners to realize we live in wildlife territory.

“It was horrendous,” she said. “People say, ‘don’t let your dog out by itself.’ But she was not out by herself,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said she has some creative ways to keep the wildlife away.

“I blast my music, so they know we are here and not to bother us, and I had the walls raised,” she said.

The Arizona Game & Fish Department also said you should not walk your dog at night and remember to carry some type of a noisemaker.

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